Are Proposed New Employment Tribunal Reforms Going To Be Good For Business?

Peninsula Team

October 11 2011

 Employers that we work with have welcomed the Government’s proposed Tribunal reforms, which include charging claimants a fee to bring a claim. As the largest Employment Law consultancy in the country we speak regularly to frustrated clients who feel bound by red tape and the claims culture.

The moves to charge an initial fee of up to £250 to simply bring a claim, with an additional £1000 to be paid when the claim is actually about to be heard by the Tribunal. This is intended to deter the individuals, who up until now have been taking their employer to court as part of a ‘fishing exercise’, simply to see what they might be able to get away with. Although they win nothing, they still cost the employer and the tribunal system valuable money and resources. The fees, which will not be refunded to an unsuccessful Claimant, are hoped to prove enough to ward away claims that have no chance of winning.

Genuine claimants who have a good prospect of success will not be deterred by the fees, because, whilst they are an upfront outlay, they will get the money back along with any award of compensation. Therefore it is still important for employers to ensure they are not flouting the law.

Whilst the fees do create a barrier to some claims, no fees will be payable by claimants who do not have the funds to do so, for example, those who are out of work. As many unfair dismissal claims are brought by individuals who have been dismissed and are not yet in work again, the figure of non-payers could be quite significant.

In no other court can a claimant bring a claim with no accompanying charge, so this proposal brings the Employment Tribunal system into line with other courts within the Ministry of Justice and HMCS.

As always watch this space and we will keep you updated on any changes that are proposed. As always we welcome your views on the matter, please comment below.

Suggested Resources